Roland Berger partners with venture firm e.ventures

26 May 2015 Consultancy.uk

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has agreed a strategic alliance with e.ventures, a global venture capitalist company. The cooperation is part of Terra Numerata, a platform launched last year by the management consultancy with the aim of becoming Europe’s digital services hotspot.

"The new cooperation is the perfect fit for our Terra Numerata initiative, which aims to open up new opportunities for our clients and all players in the digital economy in the form of alliances, joint ventures and partnerships," said Charles-Edouard Bouée, CEO of Roland Berger. The German origin consultancy launched Terra Numerata in December last year in response to the growing importance of digital business models and corporate venturing within the technology realm. As part of the initiative – which is co-owned by the highly-successful ‘superincubator’ Rocket Internet – Roland Berger has in recent months been expanding its network of clients, offerings and alliances.

Terra Numerata aims at creating a European digital valley

Last week the German-origin consultancy unveiled a new, large partnership with e.ventures, a network with offices in six countries that provides venture capital and support to the globe’s most promising start-ups. Jointly they will be able to “develop innovative products and services that they would not have been able to offer on their own", says Bouée, with the joining of forces “perfectly complementing each other”. Roland Berger will bring in its strategy consulting expertise, client network and extensive capacities for fact-based advisory, while e.ventures will build on its vast expertise in the venture capital business and global network in the start-up world.

Together the firms have also developed and launched a new offering, dubbed the ‘Digital Trend Radar’, a proposition that gives clients in-depth insights into digital developments and potential. "A client will ideally draw on all of the services offered by the cooperation as they go along," comments Egbert Wege, the Partner supervising the cooperation at Roland Berger. He foresees an interchange of bundled services throughout the advisory and support lifecycle, ultimately leading to the successful strategies, funding, and implementation of future-proof business models.

Roland Berger partners with venture firm e.ventures

With the move, Roland Berger will also enter the market for venture capital. In the coming months the business advisory will, with the support of e.ventures, launch its own investment fund, which will be geared towards digital business models, and open exclusively to the consultancy's clients.

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Private equity firms ramp up sustainability focus

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

In line with business leaders across the industrial gamut, private equity firms are increasingly on board with sustainability projects. According to a new study, the investment arms for major funds are implementing a number of strategies aimed at supporting sustainable economic development in line with global goals.

While the business world has finally begun to acknowledge the danger of climate change, effective action plans remain difficult to achieve. The Paris Agreement has stipulated a clear target for the decades leading up to 2100, although massively reducing emissions while not crashing the economy could be a tall order.

Businesses that are able to acquire capital can use it to boost productivity and output, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of development. However, some businesses are better able to utilise resources than others, both in terms of their relative productivity, as well as the value of the respective outcomes relative to costs (including environmental harms). Financing can therefore provide an avenue to select businesses that are aligned with various global sustainability goals, while shunning those that drive little or unsustainable social value creation.

Top moves made by investment arms towards responsible investment

Profit has for the longest time been the central criterion for investment decisions. Yet profit at any cost is increasingly seen as creating considerable social harms, while often delivering only marginal value. As a result, the private equity sector, which was initially sluggish to change its ways with regards to sustainability, has started to see the topic as an opportunity as much as a challenge.

A new study from PwC has explored how far sustainability goals have become part of the wider investment strategy for private equity (PE) firms. The report is based on analysis of a survey of 162 firms and includes responses from 145 general partners and 38 limited partners.

Maturing sustainability

Top-line results show that responsible investment has become an issue for 91% of respondents. For 81% of respondents, ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) was a board matter at least once a year, while 60% said that they already have implemented measures to address human rights issues. Two-thirds have identified and prioritised Sustainable Development goals that are relevant to their investment segments.

Change in concern and action on climate-related topics over time

While there is increasing concern around key issues, from human rights protections to environmental and biodiversity protection, the study finds there are mismatches between concern and action. For instance, concern among investment vehicles around climate change has increased since 2016.

In terms of risks to the PE firm itself, concern has increased from 46% of respondents in 2016 to 58% in the latest survey. However, the number who have taken action remains far below those concerned, at 9% in 2016 and 20% in 2019. Given the relatively broader scope of investment opportunities, portfolio companies face higher risks – and more concern – from PE professionals, at 83% in the latest survey. However, action is less than half of those concerned, at 31%.

Changing climate

In terms of the climate footprint of the portfolio companies, 77% of respondents state concern in the latest survey. 28% of respondents are taking action through the implementation of measures to mitigate their concerns.

Concern and action taken on ESG issues

In terms of the more pressing issues for emerging responsible investment or ESG issues, governance concern of portfolio companies comes in at number one (92% of respondents), while 60% have taken action on it. Firms have focused on improving awareness – setting up policies and a range of training modules for their professionals around responsible investment decision making. Cybersecurity takes the number two spot, with 89% concerned and 41% implementing strategies to mitigate risks.

Climate risks take the number three spot in terms of concern for portfolio companies (83%), but falls behind in terms of action (31%). Health and safety track records are a key concern at 80% of businesses, with 49% implementing action. Gender imbalance within PE firms themselves ranks at 78%, which is being dealt with by 31%. A recent survey from Oliver Wyman showed that there is gender balance at 13% of GP teams in developed countries.

Biodiversity is also an increasingly pertinent topic, with risks from pollution and chemical use increasingly driving wider systematic risks around environmental outcomes. It featured at number eight on the ranking of most likely global risks for the coming decade, with its impact at number six. As it stands, biodiversity is noted as an issue at 57% of firms, with 15% implementing action.